Due to recent changes to U.S. immigration law, travel outside of the United States may have severe consequences for aliens who are in the process of adjusting their status or applying for an immigrant visa (refugees and asylees). Upon return, these aliens may be found inadmissible, their applications may be denied, or both. It is important that the alien obtain the proper documentation before leaving the United States.
Aliens who have pending applications for certain immigration benefits need Advance Parole to re-enter the U.S. after traveling abroad.
Aliens applying for advance parole on the basis of a pending application for adjustment of status must be approved for advance parole prior to leaving the United States in order to avoid the termination of their pending application for adjustment. Note: this does not apply to aliens who have applied to adjust to permanent resident status and who maintain H-1B (Specialty Worker) or L-1 (Intracompany Transferee) status, or their dependents, who have applied to adjust to permanent resident status and who have valid H-1B or L status and valid visas, V nonimmigrants who have a valid V nonimmigrant visa, are in valid V nonimmigrant status and have or obtain a valid V nonimmigrant visa before applying for readmission to the US, and K-3/4 nonimmigrants who have applied to adjust to permanent resident status and who have a valid K-3/4 nonimmigrant visa, are in valid K-3/4 nonimmigrant status and have or obtain a valid K-3/4 nonimmigrant visa before applying for readmission to the US.
An I-131 application for Advance Parole is filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) pursuant to the instructions found on their Website.
Aliens in the United States should, prior to departure, obtain Advance Parole in order to re-enter the United States after travel abroad if they have:
- Filed an application for adjustment of status but have not received a decision from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services;
- Hold refugee or asylee status and intend to depart temporarily to apply for a U.S. immigrant visa in Canada; and/or
- An emergent personal or bona fide reason to travel temporarily abroad.
Applicants who are the beneficiary of a Private bill and Applicants who are under deportation proceedings must file to the Department of Homeland Security, 425 I Street, NW, ATTN: Parole and Humanitarian Assistance Branch, Washington, DC 20536 Aliens in the United States are not eligible for Advance Parole if they are:
- In the United States illegally; or
- An exchange alien subject to the foreign residence requirement.
Please note that Advance Parole does not guarantee admission into the United States. Aliens with Advance Parole are still subject to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspection process at the port of entry.
For more information, please visit the State Department website or the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website. To apply for a passport, U.S. citizens can visit State Department website or call the U.S. Passport Office at 1-877-4USA-PPT or TDD/TYY: 1-888-874-7793. Foreign residents should contact their respective governments to obtain passports.